Can the Michigan Football Program be Prestigious Again?

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When people think about the University of Michigan, they immediately think about the prestigious academics, but never fail to mention the success of the athletic program. Not only do people discuss generally about the athletic department, but more specifically talk about how amazing the football program is. For years, the Michigan football program has been one of the best in the country, always attracting incredible recruits out of high school, thus continuing the legacy of the Michigan football team. However, the 2014-15 football team is not living up to the hype of the Michigan football program.  For some reason, the football team just cannot find a way to win, whether its has to do with the team chemistry or the coach, no one really knows. What we do know is that the football team needs to step up and start winning.

In addition to the difficulty to win, the Shane Morris injury did not help the Michigan football program improve.

After Shane Morris was injured during the football game by getting tackled and hurting his head, Coach Brady Hoke still put Morris back into the game. Was it Hoke’s fault? The answer to the question is unclear.

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As a result of the LSA theme of the semester being Sport and the University, it is important to connect the Michigan football program and the Morris injury to the theme. Shane Morris, a sophomore quarterback at the University of Michigan, is a student athlete.

Shane Morris

I understand Morris came to Michigan in order to play football, however Morris is ultimately a student first. By letting Morris play in the game despite having signs of a concussion puts his academic career at a significant risk. Morris can get permanently injured from playing with a concussion, thus causing some major concern on how the Michigan football program operates in regards to injuries. What is the most concerning is whether or not Morris or any other football player are truly being valued as students and not just players. This concern is a legitimate worry because the football players have to do well in school just as any other student at Michigan. Morris and the rest of the players have to attend classes and study a great amount; therefore putting Morris back in the game is not fair to Morris or any of the other players on the football team. The Morris injury just opens many eyes on whether or not the football program values the fact that the football players are students as well.  As we study in class about how Sport and the University relate, it is always interesting when something happens that has connections to the course material. The Morris injury is just one of many that show how relevant this theme is.

The real question right now is whether or not the Michigan football team will clean up its act. Michigan football needs to return to the way it was when it truly cared about the students on the team and start winning football games. However as Michigan fans, we never give up and always stand by our team. Go blue!

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3 thoughts on “Can the Michigan Football Program be Prestigious Again?

  1. Great post! And I love the positivity behind your last few sentences. The only way the team is going to improve is if the players have support from their student body. I was not impressed when students protested and refused to go to games. How does that help the situation? It’s good to know that you are still supporting the team, even during these tough times.

    With regards to bringing Morris back onto the field, I agree with you that it was wrong. But to say that Hoke (or whoever was at fault) was not thinking about Morris’ academic career may be a bit too extreme. In that instance, the coaching staff was just in the moment. There was probably a lot of commotion going on. They only had a few seconds to make a decision, and Hoke probably ended up going with his gut instinct, thinking that Morris was not suffering from a concussion.

    In that instance, the staff was probably only thinking about the game, instead of academics. But does that mean they do not care about the players’ academic careers? I am not sure if that’s a fair argument to make, especially because they had to make a decision so quickly based on limited information on Morris’ condition.

    Those are just my thoughts though. I definitely agree that something must be fixed, so the coaches do not make such a wrong decision again!

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  2. I completely agree that this season hasn’t lived up to the hype. However, i believe that this can be turned around very quickly. With its academics, history, and stadium the U of M has plenty to offer to recruits. With a better known coach (which i believe we will have next year) our recruiting could be spectacular. Michigan will always be know as a cornerstone of college football and with that name comes the ability to bounce back from any slump which i believe we will do in the coming years.

    Coming to the issue of Shane Morris and student athletes, i believe that the University does truly care about the academic side of student athletes. that being said the coaches and athletic staff are hired to win games and there is a lot of pressure on them to do it. This is why i believe they may sometimes overlook the fact that these kids are students. This may lead to minor things like being worked too hard in practice or not being given quite enough time to get your school work done, but when these coaches are working with some of the best athletes in the world it is easy to forget that they are student. It may also lead to major issues like playing a concussed athlete while is a completely different story.

    What people don’t understand is that the vast majority of these student athletes will not be going pro. This means most of them must put in the work now so that they can succeed outside of the sports world and in the work force. There must be accountability from the student athletes to not take their education lightly and with the proper support from coaches this is very possible to do. However, there are the coaches who will not allow athletes to do this, and that is unacceptable.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this post and the comment and I also applaud you for supporting the team through the rough times. My uncle is an alumnus and told me that he and his college friends were upset with the current student body. He was upset that we wanted to protest and that we weren’t behind the players. It’s easy to be a fan when your team is winning, but it’s pretty tough to stay a fan when your team is losing. With that being said, I think this is when the team needs us most. As seen against Penn State, the players need energy from their fellow students. Dennis Norfleet fed off the fan energy and so did an emotional Devin Gardner. The defense as a whole was alert and energized the entire game, illustrated by their stop on Penn State’s fake punt. We need to be behind Team 135. We still have five games left, and just need to win 3 to have a chance at a bowl game! Go Blue!

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